Delaware resort businesses infringes on local school board control #edude #netde

Task force recommends pushing school start after Labor Day By Sean Carlson WDDE 91.1 FM

A state task force voted 8-7 Wednesday to recommend that the General Assembly push the start of Delaware’s school year past Labor Day.

Delaware Tourism Director and task force chair Linda Parkowski said the group, made up of lawmakers, educators and representatives from the tourism industry, considered a variety of factors in making its recommendation.

This is real F’ed up here folks! Business owners down the beach like Senator Hocker who introduced this bill wants to have the start of all public schools including charters be after Labor Day so that there won’t be a disruption in there “profits”. This decision should that of district and charter school boards.

The task force’s recommendation includes an opt-out clause that a allow schools to start pre-Labor Day under certain circumstances, something Delaware Tourism Director Linda Parkowski says was discussed at length

 School district and charter school boards shouldn’t bow-down to this bull-shit 

“The ability to have local control was a really strong current that ran through the entire meeting, especially from the educators’ perspectives,” she said.

Why wouldn’t it be strong?

Parkowski says it’s up to the General Assembly to craft the mechancics of the opt-out clause, but noted it would likely involve waivers for hardship or year round schools. 

While we’re at it how about wavier for parents to opt their child out of the Smarter Balanced Assessment?

25 responses to “Delaware resort businesses infringes on local school board control #edude #netde

  1. Does anyone know the makeup of the committee? I bet those seven votes no represent all educators, wonder if any educators or local board members voted yes? Correct me if I’m wrong but just because the task force voted for it that doesn’t mean legislators have to pass such a bill. This decision should remain with the local community and local boards.

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  2. Kilroy, there is no opt-out waiver or procedure according to the DOE and the Districts. If you don’t participate, you are a non-participant. They can’t hold students back, or make you not graduate. I’m sure the schools will hunt the families down, or make some kind of a stand if you show up for school that day, but nothing can really be done about it if students opt-out.

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  3. The only reason schools began starting earlier than Labor Day was because of the DSTP testing program. The downstate schools started doing it to have more contact(instruction) time before the testing date in the Spring. Before long, others followed. Notice Tower Hill still starts after Labor Day? Could it be because of summer job obligations? Nah.

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  4. Found this link to the task force list. http://legis.delaware.gov/LIS/TaskForces.nsf/113411bdd5de74d385257b3b005e343c/5eead6efbead02b685257b88005296b2?OpenDocument&TableRow=1.5.0#1.5.
    Interesting there seem to be 16 members but only 15 votes, wonder if that missing vote would make it a tie?

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  5. Mage, if you are speaking of opting out testing, I know students who have received a disciplinary referral for refusing tutoring during class time. Students are told they have no choice. I know of one charter who warns retention if not test successful. If DE DOE can choose to switch to smarter without adjustments for students, whose to say next year DOE won’t be switching to PARCC. DOE is very clear this is all not ready. Parents/kids deserve right to avoid guinea pig phase.

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    • I have heard of that charter as well. And I’ve also heard another one talk about summer school if they don’t pass the Spring DCAS. Not sure how the charters can do that if it’s not in the code. Oh wait a minute, the charters get to do whatever they want. For now…

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    • Pencadermom

      yeah, “the charters” suck. They get to do whatever they want. How about passing kids who haven’t mastered the skills of whatever grade they are in. Is that ok? Passing kids along to the next grade no matter what. Graduating kids from high school who read at a 6th grade level. Is that ok? Cause that’s what traditional public schools do. Yeah, traditional schools get to do whatever they want.

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    • Pencadermom, you bring up a very, very good point. My problem with the charters is their lack of transparency. Red Clay and Capital record their board meetings. Both public schools. The charters have piss poor board minutes, so nobody knows what is going on behind the scenes.

      The lack of education in many of our graduates is a systemic issue across the state, not just in public schools. I can’t tell you how many graduates I’ve seen from charters in my area that aren’t going to college, and they are happy to work at McDonalds or the local grocery stores. I can’t speak for the charter your child attends, but I can say many of them pass the kids through.

      My other problems with the charters is the control issue. The state seems to give them a pass for many situations where the publics don’t get the same treatment. Public schools have more resources and accountability than charters. Many of the teachers at the charters have been there less than five years, so they are more in tune with current teaching methods, but they lack the experience and knowledge that years of teaching gives. This will get a lot of people pissed off, but I truly believe teachers should have a code of conduct as well. I would say half the problems with behavior in schools are due to the teacher not being able to adequately deal with situations. But where is their accountability for that?

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    • Sorry Mage but it isn’t predominantly that teachers don’t know “how” to deal with students adequately. It’s that districts, DOE, and politicians “will not” deal with them in a manner commensurate with the behavior OR, the children have been grouped with such disparity of abilities and behavior that a single or even dual teacher classroom cannot adequately provide reasonable focus on education. Johnny “A student” Smith in a classroom with Mark “thug” Jones is a problem. Thug Jones can’t control himself nor cares enough to respect the classroom but Teacher Jane Doe can’t eject him because Principal Parker has no place to put the delinquent so Thug stays, Johnny can’t get educated, Teacher Doe can’t teach and Principal Parker is working on his Doctorate to be Secretary of Ed under Markel.

      Don’t know where you are or which schools you’re familiar with but if your experience has been the kids are passed through without passing the standards, you’re making the case for why our educational departments need an upheaval (i.e.: administrators, principals, and DOE) (won’t happen because of the defense of the educational systems’ status quo) and if there are charters doing it then their not above board any more than a district who ignores their academic failings.

      If a student fails the test, doesn’t that mean they require additional training for that particular grade? Shouldn’t that result in the school requirement that the student a. Go to summer school OR b. Repeat the grade? Why would you oppose the school trying to get the student up to grade level?

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    • Johnny “A student” Smith in a classroom with Mark “thug” Jones is a problem. Thug Jones can’t control himself nor cares enough to respect the classroom but Teacher Jane Doe can’t eject him because Principal Parker has no place to put the delinquent so Thug stays

      What a depraved view of how to educate high-needs children.

      First of all, don’t start by labeling them. Then find out if the children are hungry. Then find out if they have treatable emotional/medical/behavior issues. Then make sure they are doing their classwork/homework – bring the homework back inside the school if necessary using after-hours study halls with extra support. If you think feeding children, treating their problems, and helping them with homework costs too much, thenyour problem is with money, not education. If you think parents should be providing that kind of support, you haven’t been reading the news.

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  6. Just got done reading the April minutes and this task force reported that they brought in a speaker from virginia via conference call…big faux pas by this public body….title 29 Freedom of information act specifically forbids this for public bodies! Did they vote at that April meeting as well? If so that vote could be challenged…

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  7. Pencadermom

    So what’s your problem with “profits”? Isn’t the resort business big in lower Delaware? Profits in the economy are bad now? Why? Who gets hurt by school starting after Labor Day? Who wants school to start in the middle of August? It’s just the point of it, right? gawwddd, pleassee
    seriously, name one person who wants school to start in the middle of August.

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    • Right on Pencadermon how about fewer half days?

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    • Pencadermom

      Bus companies are the only ones who gain anything by half days.

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    • Let’s individual districts and local communities decide their school calendar, it shouldn’t be determined by resort and business owners from the beaches.
      Most businesses employ students over 18 or 19 to wait tables, I don’t see the outrage about colleges starting before Labor Day…
      The summer season at the beaches begins with Memorial Day, k-12 schools are still in session then and will be until approximately the 10th of June. That last day will be pushed back further in June if the school year doesn’t begin until after Labor Day, have the business leaders considered that?
      Additionally, if this does come to a bill, will there be a guarantee of a certain percentage of jobs going to students in DE schools or even employees of those schools? Will there be a guarantee of the increased funds raised by such an initiative automatically allocated to education?

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    • Pencadermom

      “The summer season at the beaches begins with Memorial Day, k-12 schools are still in session then and will be until approximately the 10th of June. That last day will be pushed back further in June if the school year doesn’t begin until after Labor Day, have the business leaders considered that?” – unless we end “Spring Break”.. sorry, not sure why k-12 kids need a whole week off of school 8 weeks before the end of the school year. Half of them ‘check out’ at that point any way.

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  8. Looking forward to those long-lost sweet summer’s end family vacations that end on Labor Day weekend…

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  9. Who is in school right now? Tell me. What is being taught now that testing is all done in over? Nothing….

    Maybe some teachers are trying… it is a waste. No one is learning anything until after Labor day… Period… Whether you have school till June 10th or not…

    Start after Labor Day. End before Memorial Day… Everything in between is a complete waste of time, money, and utility bills.

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    • The biggest issue is again government and private interest interference in local school decisions. When they start doesn’t matter, not when they end. As we saw this year the ‘required’ number of days is arbitrary as the gov can excuse as many days as possible.

      The ironic thing is this is an argument about high school kids (mainly juniors and seniors) working at the beach although the vast majority of summer help are college students who go back to school mid-august .

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    • If we had consolidated school districts, I might agree with you about local control. But as long as tiny Delaware has 19 districts and various charters/LEAs, some decisions have statewide impact and are best addressed at the state level. Some states have school districts bigger than Delaware counties.

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    • Mike – we’ve got 19 districts and this law affects 2 of them. and of those 2 it affects 1700 possible employees at the beach. and even in 20% of them held jobs at that beach (and from what i know of my friends who own businesses down there) that is probably high, we’re talking about a couple hundred kids. for new state legislation. that affects the entire state. thats another example of state overreach.

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  10. Pencadermom, I absolutely 100% agree with you and that is why my child attends a charter. 🙂 However, kids/parents have worries about consequences of testing accountabiity. It is obvious students were never meant to be accountable….strangely. I can see with new test their will be many victims. I am also not sure tests aren’t more of a child developmental stage assessment than pure knowledge. A time for caution. PS. my apologies for swinging topic. Learning some testing things this week and I am upset no one is advocating for kids.

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  11. Elizabeth- I followed your fight on testing and thank you!!

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